Making those family memories.

Just a quick addendum to my recent blog post…………. https://andrewkatsaitisphotography.wordpress.com/2020/10/28/halloween-photoshoot-ideas-when-youre-locked-down-in-the-middle-of-a-global-health-pandemic/

We had a fabulous Hallowe’en. I hope you did too?

We played games. The kids bobbed for apples. We had a chocolate fondue with strawberries and the biggest marshmallows I’ve ever seen!

I got my picture.

My mission was to make a Hallowe’en portrait……..a family memory to frame and put on the wall.

So the girls had been applying makeup and face paint for a while before I warmed up the lights and the smoke machine. I knew I wasn’t going to have much time…..they were both way too excited and also in the middle of a sugar fuelled frenzy, so I was going to have to work fast.

The room where I shoot at home is small.

It has white walls………yeah!

So how was I going to create some atmosphere and make an image with a spooky feel? One word answer……….GRIDS!!!! Yep I put the grid on my Octabox to try and control the spill and direction of my light. By angling the light across the girls in the crosslight/Rembrandt position I was ensuring that not too much of it was hitting the white wall behind them, rendering it grey in colour.

Here’s the setup.

In the diagram the octabox to camera left has the grid fitted. Unfortunately there was no facility for this in the creator program.

I added in the strip box boomed out behind the girls, angled down on them to backlight the smoke from my little fog machine.

I took a dozen shots (working quickly) and decided on my favourite.

Here’s the SOOC shot……….

They look pretty spooky don’t they?

My personal feeling is that smoky images tend to lend to high contrast. So I opted to go black and white for this one. Edited in Photoshop. I added contrast using the Nik Pro Contrast filter in Colour Efex Pro and further contrast using my favourite Topaz Clarity plugin.

I’m going to write about both of those great plugins in detail in a future post, but for now here’s my finished picture……….

It’s visible in full size on my Flickr, 500px etc. Please do connect with me there (links at the top of the page.)

Hope you enjoyed the post.

Stay safe.

Andy

I’m a fine art portrait photographer based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Specialising in creative and styled portraiture, fitness photography, headshots, family portraits and personal branding for you, for actors, for athletes and for business professionals alike.

www.andrewkatsaitisphotography.com

Buy me a coffee at my ko-fi page.

Getting creative with the lighting.

“Slice” featuring Rue Moriah

Creative Fashion Beauty Headshot

I love to experiment with lighting during my model shoots and I’d wanted to try this technique out that I’d seen used by the master Joel Grimes for a while.

It’s a relatively simple lighting setup but hopefully you’ll agree that the results are quite striking.

The first step is to get the backlight right. In this case the background is a large octabox placed directly behind the subject’s head. You have to bring the power up just enough but not too much as to blow out the highlights. A good way to check this is to enable the highlight alert on your camera (the blinkies) or if shooting tethered it’s easy to check the highlight clipping on the histogram in Lightroom. Simple trial and error will get you to the right place in just a couple of shots. I particularly like the way light wraps around the subject’s face as a result of this.

Nest step is to establish the main light. For this I’ve used a Godox speedlight inside a Rogue grid to create a tight beam of light. To make it even tighter I fashioned a slit over the front of the grid using two pieces of cardboard and some tape (I wanted that beam of light to be really tight)! I boomed this light directly in front and aimed down at Rue’s face and adjusted it until we got it right.

The black and white edit was intentional to really emphasise the contrast.
I hope you like the image.

Joel’s video on the subject is most definitely worth a watch and can be viewed here

Stay safe.

Andy.

I’m a fine art portrait photographer based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Specialising in creative and styled portraiture, fitness photography, headshots, family portraits and personal branding for you, for actors, for athletes and for business professionals alike.

www.andrewkatsaitisphotography.com  

Buy me a coffee at my ko-fi page.